We need titles for many things: ideas, concepts, images, tweets, social media and blog posts, articles, reports, and books. In an earlier blog post I shared some insights from my research on bestselling nonfiction books for how to create better titles. I would like to now zero in on smaller ideas or bite-sized pieces of writing. How can we title our articles, blogs, and other short social media posts that we want people to click on and read? Who can we learn from, who knows how to title? The answer is copywriters. A popular blog for copywriters is Copyblogger. I’ve heard many fine title writers recommend this site as a good model. I’ve taken a screen shot of some of the most popular, commented, and shared blog posts or articles on the Copyblogger site. Give it a look and synthesize what you see. What can we learn from these popular article titles on how to title our own articles and blog posts? What themes do you see?
From my quick glance I see three themes or tips:
1. Use numbers. Most of the titles are about X ways, elements, secrets, etc. It seems like people want to click and read something that is quantitative. We all have time to read 3 quick secrets, or 5 quick ways, right?
2. Make it “How to” focused. There are at least two articles that even start with that exact phrase in the Copyblogger image. The titles have a practical focus…you will learn how to DO something.
3. Focus on the benefit or solve the problem in the title. What is your article going to help people with? Get more views for their article or blog? Write more magnetic copy that people will read? What are you helping them with?
Are there more than 3 simple ways to title? What other themes or tips did you see in the Copyblogger image? Leave a comment about other ideas you found or have for creating better titles!